Blues ready for Stormers onslaught

Getty Images

Wednesday, May 17, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Assistant coach Alistair Rogers said it was a cliché but it was what the Blues were living by as they tried to assemble the wins required to carry them into play-offs contention.


Confirmation was needed at their Wednesday training session that Sonny Bill Williams had come through without any concussion issues but Rogers said he had been showing signs of getting into the side's rhythm, especially in the first half against the Waratahs.

"Sonny has a real ability to give confidence to those around him. We thought it was tough on TJ [Faiane] because he had a very good game last week, but that's the sort of competition we've got in the squad and especially around the mid-field so for Sonny this week he has to come in and do his job.

"That's all we're looking for him to do, just play his game," he said.

The choice of lock Patrick Tuipulotu on the bench was the result of the decision to utilise him for impact later in the game, especially with the type of game the Stormers were likely to bring. He had done well on his return from a back injury last week and had played the 80 minutes.

The Stormers were playing well at home, and while they had suffered three losses on their tour to New Zealand they had had a bye since and would be looking to utilise home advantage to provide the Blues with a formidable challenge, he said.

"It seems they have got some of their Springboks back and they're going to be under some pressure. They started the competition really well and they haven't done so well in the last couple of weeks and they've been on the road. So for them to be playing at home, there'll be a big crowd there, they're going to throw the kitchen sink at us."

After the impact of the Cheetahs employing the rolling maul with effect against the Blues at the weekend in which they scored four tries, there had been plenty of discussion around coping with that, and they would be going back to basics with the aim of clarity and detail around everyone's role in that area.

"We know it's definitely going to get tested, far more than it did last week so we've got to make sure that's nailed first and foremost," he said.

Allied to that was the requirement for attention to discipline.

"It's no secret that if we gave away a penalty, even in our own half, they're going to kick it into the corner and drive so we've got to be very disciplined this week and make some good decisions around the tackle area," he said.